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The Lion King: The Gift (Prod. by Beyoncé)

PostPosted: July 17th, 2019, 8:18 pm
by Panpardus
I found it weird that only a few new songs were being added to the main Lion King soundtrack, especially since I'd heard Beyoncé had made a deal with Disney to produce a bunch of new music for the film and she's only credited on "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Spirit". But in fitting Lion King tradition, there's a whole other album of music inspired by the film that's set for release on July 19th, of which "Spirit" is the lead single. The music video for it just released today; it actually elevates the song, which I already think is good based on just the audio track:

Like they did last year with Black Panther: The Album by Kendrick Lamar, Disney reached out to Beyoncé to produce and curate an album featuring a bunch of the most prominent contemporary black music artists from both Africa and North America, so you've got the likes of Pharrell, Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover/Simba), the aforementioned Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé herself (with her husband and daughter too), mixing it up with African artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Mr Eazi (all Nigerian; most of the continental artists are from Nigeria), Shatta Wale (Ghana), and Busiswa and Tiwa Savage (South Africa). Here's the whole track list: ... tracklist/
No Kenyans or East Africans in general, which is a bit disappointing since the story is set in that region.

I hope it's good; also like with Black Panther: The Album, it's supposed to tell the story of the film it's associated with. I actually didn't like much of the Black Panther album though, just musically speaking; a lot of it felt really Americanized and didn't feel like it embraced the African elements enough, except on the few songs exclusively by the African-born artists. That's not my only issue with the album, but it's one of the main ones. This one could be more promising if "Spirit" is any indication, plus its association with The Lion King (which is supposed to be more family friendly and wide-appealing) might mean that the songs are being a bit more heavily scrutinized for quality control, which granted, could also be a bad thing that stifles artistic liberties. We'll see. I'll be sure to give my impressions once I listen to it (I already gave my thoughts on "Spirit" in the thread for the main soundtrack), and I look forward to seeing what folks here think.

(Seriously though, I still can't believe Disney somehow let Future's "La di da di da" shenanigans end up on the Black Panther album.)

Re: The Lion King: The Gift (Prod. by Beyoncé)

PostPosted: July 19th, 2019, 10:20 am
by Panpardus
So I was about to go to sleep a couple hours ago when I happened to come across a song I recognized from the album listing; ended up discovering that the whole album had literally just dropped on YouTube within an hour prior, so of course I ended up listening to the whole thing. I'm way too tired now to write out song-by-song reviews and I really hope folks here get to hear it, so I'll just post the whole thing for now and come back to this later.

The Lion King: The Gift -- ... YH0xWvbcPc

To briefly sum up my thoughts though, this may very well be the best new album I've heard this year, if not within the last few years. If you thought "Spirit" was good but not quite 'African' enough for you, fear not; this album goes straight-up Afrobeat throughout its run as it tells the story of The Lion King in glorious fashion by a combination of really good artists. The whole thing feels like a great collaborative project. I've already listened to it twice through, and then went back and replayed my favorites ("Brown Skin Girl", "Keys to the Kingdom", and "My Power" are the highlights for me) multiple times each. There's even a song in here called "Otherside" that could've been a beautiful actual musical number for Nala to sing. So yeah, I'm genuinely impressed and quite happy that this exists, and I cannot reiterate how much I really hope you all give it a listen.

Re: The Lion King: The Gift (Prod. by Beyoncé)

PostPosted: July 19th, 2019, 3:00 pm
by Elton John
i bought it earlier this morning. havent gotten very far in it but i really dig it so far.

Re: The Lion King: The Gift (Prod. by Beyoncé)

PostPosted: August 3rd, 2020, 1:48 am
by Stormy
the deluxe version of "The Lion King: The Gift" is currently #7 on itunes top albums. assuming this is because of Black Is King's debut.

Re: The Lion King: The Gift (Prod. by Beyoncé)

PostPosted: August 5th, 2020, 11:20 am
by MeerkatOnTheMoon
Definitely a worthy album. It actually goes beyond The Lion King theme to promote the African culture in an authentic way. Representation is always needed in the entertainment industry, and this album
showcases that.